Orthodox Rabbi Mendel Epstein, 9 others granted bail in divorce extortion case

The defendants allegedly planned to kidnap Orthodox men and force them to grant divorces to their wives.

The defendants allegedly planned to kidnap Orthodox men and force them to grant divorces to their wives. (10/17/13)

BROOKLYN - A prominent Brooklyn rabbi and nine others are now at home following arrests in an alleged divorce extortion case.

A judge granted bail to the defendants Wednesday, including Rabbi Mendel Epstein, in an alleged plot to kidnap Orthodox men and force them to grant religious divorces to their wives.

According to a criminal complaint, Epstein talked about using electric cattle prods or placing plastic bags over the husbands' heads. Prosecutors say the asking price for a kidnapping was $50,000.

Federal authorities had conducted a sting operation last week that spanned from Brooklyn to New Jersey and upstate New York.
 

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